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Red Cross Holds Risk Confab

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) held a showcase of good practices in disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) in a conference titled “Empowering Communities and Local Government Units in Implementing Inclusive Development Programs in the Philippines” at the DILG NAPOLCOM Center on January 29.

The conference discussed the national government agency’s framework in DRR/CCA, particularly the mainstreaming of DRR/CCA in the local development plans. It served as an avenue for dialogues between target local government units (LGUs), the PRC, and key stakeholders for the implementation of RA10121 or the “Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010” and RA9729 or the “Climate Change Act of 2009.”

Keynote speakers talked about the participating organizations’ participation in the alignment of frameworks. LGU leaders, representatives from Save the Children, Community Development Plan (CDP), and Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development, Inc. (ACCORD), and key resource persons from the PRC DRRM Program, presented their group’s mainstreaming approaches, outcomes, and good practices.

A plenary session on the framework of the national government agencies and PRC related to the implementation of mainstreaming of DRR and CCA in local development plans followed the parallel sessions.

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon and Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang answered questions from the media in the press briefing. Disaster Risk Reduction delegate from Netherlands Colin Fernandez and manager of Disaster Management Services of the PRC Roderic M. Salve joined the panel.

Aside from Gordon and Pang, the other keynote speakers were OIC-Director of the Bureau of Local Government Development (BLGD) Anna Liza F. Bonagua, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Operations Center Edgar Ollet, vice-chairperson of the Climate Change Commission Mary Anne Lucille L. Sering, Local Government Officer 5 of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Maria Monica Angela Salud Mamuyac.

Genevieve de Jesus, Country Representative from Netherlands Red Cross (NLRC) which was the main funding partner of the conference, gave the conference background.
Participants also interacted and shared their practices, then formulated suggested processes, priorities, and challenges in mainstreaming DRR-CCA in their municipality’s development plans. The output from the session was presented to a panel of experts who gave their comments and recommendations.

Director Anna Liza F. Bonagua from the DILG, Karima Palafox from the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners, Dr. Zanaida Manalo of the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning, Kristin M. Roxas, DRR Sector Head of Haiyan Operations of the PRC, and a representative from DRR Network Philippines/Aksyon Klima composed the panel of experts. The conference was made possible through a fund from the European Union, and in coordination with local government units (LGUs), non- government organizations (NGOs), and other key stakeholders.